Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


May 19, 2001 - Issue 36



Lessons of a Cheyenne Tribe


 by Alecia Foster LA Times

La Crescenta, CA - One by one, the students stepped up to the burning sweet grass and pulled the smoke toward them with four scooping motions.

"That was cool," Chad Cummins, a Monte Vista fifth-grader said as he walked away.

What the students had participated in was a purifying ceremony that the Cheyenne people begin their day with, said Anthony Littlewhirlwind, a member of the tribe.

"Sometimes we need to purify the mind, clean the mind from bad thoughts and clean the heart of bad feelings," he told the children as he explained the spiritual ritual.

Littlewhirlwind spoke to the class Friday about the Cheyenne people in Montana and some of their customs as part of the classes' study of Native American cultures.

He shared photos of several family members, including Redarmpanther, his great-great-grandfather who fought at the Battle of Little Big Horn.

One of the biggest messages he stressed to students was the respecting of elders -- an important aspect of many Native American cultures.

Littlewhirlwind recalled that after his grandfather, Charles Sitting Man Sr., died, his uncle would have the young boy take food to the grave site and leave it. Each night it disappeared.

Night after night Littlewhirlwind did this, not really understanding why at first.

"The son and the father loved each other so much, that the son continued to respect him even when he was gone," he said.

He encouraged the students to do the same.

"Appreciate your grandparents and love them," he said.



  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.



The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.